“There are, therefore, two kinds of knowledge in this world: an eternal and a temporal. The eternal springs directly from the light of the Holy Spirit, but the other directly from the Light of Nature.”
“This light [scintilla = sparks] is the lumen naturae which illuminates consciousness..”
“… lumen naturae is the light of the darkness .”
My Buddhist teacher once said that ego was simply where prajna had lost its’ connection to awareness. What he meant by this was that innate wisdom and discernment becomes disconnected from what is happening right now- this very moment.
Jung talks about the scintilla or little sparks of light that illuminate consciousness.
Spiritual paths are not a flight away from the darkness, although we can use them to achieve this end. Because most spiritual paths offer some kind of promise of getting out the dark, this doesn’t mean that we are completely home free… yet. For as long as we have an ego we are confronted again and again with its’ (ego) ignorance and fear. Being afraid of the dark is natural. We are deeply wired to feel anxiety about the unknown. Darkness can be extremely terrifying as well as disorienting. Within this darkness of unconsciousness lay the scintilla. The light of Basic Goodness.
One of the things that I love about Western Psychology is that it understands that we are all basically walking around in the dark day after day pretending that we know what we are doing. The psychological word for this is unconsciousness. Buddhism would say that our prajna has lost its’ connection to awareness. Just saying this makes me want to wake up and turn the lights on.
It is my experience that resting the mind and waiting (repeat: WAITING) without running around like a lunatic wanting things to change allows this illumination to occur right on its own in its own way.
One of the strengths from an ongoing meditation practice is that we do not necessary have to believe that the “snake” in the corner in the room is actually a real snake that could kill us. With this natural light of awareness we might just come to find that it is a silly old rope after all. The only thing that was harmful and scaring us was our own mind and imagination. Although pranja loosing its’ connection to awareness sounds so simple, we spend most of our waking and sleeping in a state of this separation.
We react to the “snake” in the corner, to the perceived “threat.” Throw in a large does of “habit” and we are sucked into the fantasy- the dream- the nightmare.
Discipline comes to mind. To not react to the “snake”, to the perceived threat, to the “drama” takes tremendous discipline. I will take this discipline. The other way is just far to exhausting to me. Exhausting and on a good day a little bit funny, on a bad day- a nightmare.
What kind of world could we live in if we all trusted this illumination to be innate? If instead of reacting we ran to the cushion, paused and practiced? Practice helps us to see things as they are- even if what is being “illuminated” is our own insanity. After all, who else’s insanity is it? It is the whole super story that happens when our prajna is separated, yet again, from pure awareness.